India is still a market where the price of a new car can decide its fate. Our country is still price conscious and this is why manufacturers tend to cut corners to keep costs as low as possible. At the same time though, some cars are really good value for money and give a lot of bang for the buck to a new customer.
Here is our list of the cheapest cars on sale in India today
1. Tata Nano
Engine? 624cc, petrol
Fuel economy (ARAI rating) : 25.4kmpl
The Nano without a doubt is the cheapest car on sale in India. As per Tata Motor's website, pricing for the Nano starts at Rs 2.04 lakh for the CX version, going upto Rs 2.29 lakh for the LX version. In today's exchange rates, this translates into USD 3300 only. Tell this to a friend in the States and he will be shocked!
That said, at the given price, the Nano comes across as a good deal. Tempting offers from the company and dealers mean that for the 2014 manufactured versions, you can end up enjoying benefits of upto Rs 35000-40000 - that is almost 20% of the ex-showroom price.
The Nano drives and feels sorted when you limit yourself to city limits. Visit a hill station and you will be surprised to see the number of Nanos around - it does make sense in a variety of markets. Tata now offers the Nano with optional CNG kit and power steering too.
All said and done, the Nano remains the cheapest car money can buy in India!
2. Maruti Omni
How much? From Rs 2.39 lakh onwards (ex-showroom Delhi)
Engine? 796cc, petrol
Fuel economy (ARAI rating) : 14.7kmpl
Surprised? Don't be - the Omni remains the second cheapest car you can buy in India. It comes feature stripped, is pretty unsafe and won't do speeds over 100-110km/h but it can still seat 8 people or carry a good 400-500kg of cargo easily.
Short gearing makes it peppy and it can be repaired almost anywhere in India. Yes it doesn't find private buyers these days but in the commercial market it is still a hit. Maruti sells the Omni in different configurations - as a personal vehicle, as a cargo vehicle, as an ambulance, with optional LPG and so on. No, a standard power steering or air-con is still not on the list.
3. Maruti Alto 800
Engine? 796cc, diesel
Fuel economy (ARAI rating) : 22.74kmpl
The Alto took off from where the original 800 left. The Alto 800 is India's largest selling car (over 22000 units sold on a monthly basis) and there is a reason behind it. It is 20-25% more expensive than the Nano but people still put their faith into this legend - the reason is, the Alto 800 will never die on you. This is a car that will be passed on for generations and will becoming boringly reliable. It is still feature stripped but does what an average customer wants his car to do.
A CNG version is available and Maruti is now offering an optional driver side air-bag too. Kudos!
The tiny 796cc three cylinder engine excels when it comes to both city and highway performance (for this price) and still delivers magical fuel economy figures.